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By Jeffrey Meyers

Ford Madox Ford declared Samuel Johnson “the so much tragic of all our significant literary figures.” Blessed with a powerful mind and a burning ardour for concepts, Johnson additionally struggled all through his existence with psychological instability and diverse actual defects. the most illustrious figures of the English literary culture, Johnson made his repute as poet, essayist, critic, dictionary-maker, conversationalist, and all-around larger-than-life character. His luck used to be the entire higher for the adversity he needed to conquer in attaining it.

Drawing on a life of research of Johnson and his period, in addition to a big selection of recent archival fabrics, famous biographer Jeffrey Meyers tells the extreme tale of 1 of the nice geniuses of English letters. Johnson emerges in his portrait as a mass of contradictions: lazy and full of life, competitive and gentle, depression and witty, comforted but suffering from faith. He used to be bodily repulsive and slovenly in costume and behavior, yet his social rules have been revolutionary and humane—he strongly adverse slavery and the imperial exploitation of indigenous peoples. He gave generously to the negative and homeless, rescued prostitutes, and defended criminals who’d been condemned to hold. yet those charitable acts couldn't dispel the darkness that clouded his international: overwhelming guilt and worry of everlasting damnation.

A masterful portrait of an excellent and tormented determine, this booklet reintroduces a brand new new release of readers to the heroic Dr. Johnson.

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